Boy's Own Paper,  2 (1879–80), 445–46.

Some Boys Who Became Famous. Jules Verne



Regular Feature, Essay

Relevant illustrations:



L Dumoni


Science Fiction, Science Communication, Publishing, Progress, Reading, Morality

    Champions Verne as a 'household name with the boys of England—young and old', and as a writer of 'thrilling scientific romances' who 'knows everything', who 'seizes the latest scientific discovery, and weaves it so deftly in his magic web, that however wonderful it may have appeared or however far-fetched, it takes its place naturally in the daily routine of his little world of fancy'. Stresses further the range of Verne's scientific interests (from the 'depths of the ocean' to 'a journey to the moon'). (445) Proceeds to a short account of Verne's life, although it cannot account for his turn to 'writing a scientific romance', but suggests that this might have been caused by 'the progress which has been made in the sciences within recent years', which 'fired his strong imagination'. Lists several of his major works and proceeds to address the question of 'what use these scientific romances serve'. Replies by insisting that such works are 'directly beneficial' and satisfy 'the most exacting appetite for what is marvellous, whilst [Verne] opens before the minds of his readers possibilities of scientific triumphs that must make them think'. Also praises Verne's works for making 'the mere idler an object of contempt' and believes his portrait shows 'power and intelligence and purpose'. (446)

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